Page 23 - 48º North - The Sailing Magazine - December 2017
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covers with space for inserts.) My kids have expressed concern about my pillow addiction, but how else does one enhance of change the décor on the boat. Here is where they become more than just frivolous fluff: take the inners out (store or get rid of them) and replace them with your sweaters. Et voilà! Sweaters, fleeces, and even those crushable down coats disappear.
Packing cubes also work well for keeping things stowed neatly. Check online for where to buy them near you. I keep my hats, scarves and workout gear in them. They stack neatly, can be slid into a drawer or locker, or live unobtrusively somewhere on the boat.
For Better or for Worse...
Boaters are generally a peaceful lot - in touch with nature, community- minded, pretty chill overall. But winter can bring out the dark side in all of us. If you are having homicidal thoughts toward your partner who always manages to be standing exactly where you need to be, or who kicks you under the table (by mistake of course...), a helpful strategy for harmonious partnership is to take a few hours off the boat. Here are a few ideas for off-the- boat activities, hopefully preserving your on-board relationship.
• A walk can be beneficial, but get a
waterproof coat and good walking boots. Coming home to a cozy, dry, uncluttered boat feels wonderful after a long, winter walk.
• A gym membership. Nothing like a good workout to clear your head! And a long, hot shower is worth the price of membership. There are some inexpensive, bare-bones gyms that can do the trick during the winter months.
• Coffee shops, libraries, public office spaces. If you work from home as I do, get off the boat and take advantage of these places especially during winter. Even paying bills or doing some reading deserves a change of scenery. And you get to see other faces and hear other voices. So refreshing.
• Museums are a great option when the rain is too forboding. Free museum days and other indoor events can cure cabin fever. Check your wet coat, walk around inside, and look at beautiful things.
Hibernation is for Bears
Do you find yourself wondering who that guy hunched into his coat with his hood over his face is, only to realize as you get closer that it’s your neighbor on the boat next to yours? In the winter, we tend to hurry, head down, to and from our boats. Once the spontaneous afternoon gatherings on the dock have ceased, we peer out our portholes at each other while waiting for spring.
But come on, folks! Winter can be a surprisingly fun time to have people over, especially if you’ve solved the cold, damp, cooking and storage conundrums. It’s cozy and warm and neighborly, while still close to nature. Listen to the rain come down as you watch the flame, eat a warm crockpot meal and snuggle in. Plan evenings with neighbors on the dock. Our dock has done progressive dinner parties, gathered for a rousing game of Cards Against Humanity, and celebrated the holidays on one of the larger boats on the dock. It takes some organization, but it’s well worth it and helps the winter to feel less punishing.
Steamy windows aren’t just for lovers in the winter!
Attitude Adjustment
Finally, attitude is all-important. We have chosen this life whether we cruise or live on our boats. When my husband and I climb into our hard- covered cockpit and shed our coats, we always feel happy to be home. Stepping down the companionway stairs feels like a hug as the warm air and the aroma from the crockpot wafts around us. If you take the steps to make winter on your boat bearable, you’ll get through just fine!
Irene and Dan happily practice what they preach and are wintering aboard in Seattle, WA.
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Seventh Wave Marine December 2017

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